APEX 2020: A vision beyond
On Feb 28, vivo launched its new concept phone – APEX 2020. The latest concept applies cutting-edge technologies and R&D capability, setting the innovation benchmark for the industry.
For vivo, APEX is a vision of the future made real. It has always been vivo’s ambition to lead technological progress, pushing boundaries to enhance the user experience of consumers worldwide. Indeed, quite a few innovations applied to the first two APEX generations entered mass production, turning concept into reality.
Since 2018, vivo has launched a concept smartphone at the beginning of each year – handsets that explore the potential and future of smartphone design. Two years ago, when the APEX was launched, it was the first phone to feature a FullView Display with a 98% screen-to-body ratio, as well as a series of groundbreaking innovations including an elevating front camera and in-display fingerprint scanning technology. One year later, vivo’s first 5G device, the APEX 2019, was launched, featuring Super Unibody design.
APEX 2020 looks set to reinforce vivo’s reputation for innovation, blending extraordinary design and great image production technology.
Ever since its first-generation, APEX has focused on the optimal use of space with breakthrough technologies. The APEX 2020 is no exception.
The body features a 6.45-inch display which curves across the phone face at an angle of up to 120°. Removing black edges and bezels from the frontal view, this development produces an ultra-seamless display.
The seam between the display and the bezels has also been moved to the rear panel so that the device is smooth to the touch. The 120° curved edge display further frees up the handset’s interactive interface, providing greater space for capacitive touch on the edges.
The screen, which combines visual effects, comfortable touch and interactivity, is referred to as “120° FullView edgeless display”.
Physical buttons have been replaced by pressure-sensitive ones that perfectly align with the seamless display, allowing for extra-sensitive accuracy by applying gentle pressure to the edges of the phone.
To maintain a seamless, Super Unibody design, the APEX 2020 features an in-display camera. By innovating screen pixel layout and circuit design, screen transmittance has been increased six times beyond that of a traditional screen, which means the in-display camera can produce crystal-clear images, with the lens hidden from view when not in use.
Another notable aspect is that the APEX 2020 does not feature a conventional receiver and speaker. Instead, utilizing vivo's advanced Screen SoundCasting Technology enables two groups of high-performance audio amplifier impellers to work together.
In addition to showcasing the latest developments in phone design, vivo has been keen to improve charging. In June 2019, vivo announced its Super FlashCharge 120W technology, which broke industry records. It has proved capable of charging a 4,000mAh phone battery to 50% in five minutes and fully charging it in 13 minutes. Now, just seven months later, the APEX 2020 offers a groundbreaking wireless charging technology – wireless Super FlashCharge 60W. This recharges a handset with a 2000mAh battery in only 20 minutes, offering faster charging than conventional wired flash charging.
Today, consumers expect their smartphones to capture great quality images and create videos. vivo meets evolving consumer demands through intensive research and testing, enabling users to benefit from the most advanced imaging technologies.
Although a growing number of smartphones now feature telephoto lenses, it is difficult to achieve great results on small devices, because resolution and image quality suffers as the zoom increases.
APEX 2020 overcomes this challenge with continuous optical zoom technology, and is the world’s first handset equipped with a high-magnification continuous zoom. It can achieve continuous optical zoom between 5x-7.5x, the level most commonly used by consumers, to consistently produce photos with high resolution and high image quality.
However, it wasn’t easy to develop this technology. Incorporating such a professional-grade lens into the APEX’s ultra-thin body was complicated. vivo’s engineers developed a “4-group lens combination”, which uses two fixed and two movable groups of lenses. These produce high-magnification continuous zoom and real-time focus. Arranged like a periscope, the entire module is only 6.2 mm thick. vivo’s 5x-7.5x continuous optical zoom has also been optimized to achieve amazing distance images.
Besides capturing high-quality images, there is a growing need for 5G-enabled video recording on smartphones. Previously, the industry used optical image stabilization (OIS) to help take these images, but the results have been far from perfect. vivo has developed a solution – to install the gimbal-stabilizing main camera in the APEX 2020.
This in-display camera operates like a gimbal and adopts stable mechanical structure modules to achieve optical stabilization in the front-back and left-right inclined directions, greatly enhancing the capacity for stabilization. During testing, this technology demonstrated an enhancement in the stabilization angle by 200% compared to conventional OIS.
Holding the lightweight APEX 2020 is like having a handheld gimbal ready at any time, significantly reducing image blurring from hand shake.
The APEX 2020 is also equipped with voice tracking auto-focus. Together with vivo’s self-developed image recognition algorithm, this enables a more intelligent shooting experience with the support of more powerful zoom and stabilization functions. By automatically tracking the focus so that the image and the voice of the desired object appear most prominently in any recording, consumers can enjoy vlog shooting anytime, anywhere.
Another benefit of APEX 2020 is instant photobomb removal. This involves real-time synchronized image segmentation through sophisticated video imaging technology. Any unwanted photobombers can be easily eliminated from a scene, and the removed portion of the image can also be seamlessly smart-filled.